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Health leaders urge people to only leave home for essential trips as COVID-19 cases spike

Posted at 9:17 PM, Jul 14, 2020

Wisconsin’s health leaders warn that now is the time to learn from other states’ mistakes as coronavirus cases begin to spike in the Badger State.

Wisconsin has broken daily COVID-19 case records four times in the past 6 days with 964 new infections reported Tuesday.

Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services says there will not be another statewide ‘stay at home’ order anytime soon. However, D.H.S. urges people to act as if one were currently in place by wearing masks in public and only leaving homes for essential trips.

State health leaders said statewide coronavirus testing counts have remained steady for the past few weeks, but an uptick in cases has become evident, especially this past week. Health Secretary Designee Andrea Palm said people who have grown comfortable not worrying about the virus need to immediately change their habits.

“We did such a good job in the spring of flattening the curve and protecting each other, protecting our vulnerable citizens, protecting our front line healthcare workers and it really is time to do that again,” she said.

Palm said massive spikes that Arizona, California, Florida and Texas are seeing aren’t out of the question for Wisconsin. Sadly, those states just recorded their highest weekly coronavirus death totals.

“We’re pretty much where they were 5 weeks ago,” said Dr. John Raymond with the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Dr. Raymond said the state’s coronavirus hospitalizations remain low with 283 patients. D.H.S. data shows 85 coronavirus patients are in intensive care.

“The good news is here in Wisconsin we have the opportunity to learn from what happened in these other states and to do a better job,” Dr. Rayond said.

Israel Sanders flew from Milwaukee Tuesday back home to Texas, a southern hotspot.

“It’s actually pretty cool,” Sanders said. “Everything’s open, we travel like we want as long as we stay protected.”

Wisconsinites who are headed to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are now required to quarantine for 14 days once they arrive due to the state’s coronavirus positivity rate.

D.H.S. data shows 10 percent of people tested in Milwaukee County have been positive for the virus. That’s nearly double the state’s positivity rate of 5.3 percent.

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